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Murphy v. Neilson

United States District Court, D. Utah

April 10, 2019

ANTHONY CHARLES MURPHY, Petitioner,
v.
BRIAN NEILSON, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER REGARDING PETITION DEFICIENCIES

          DAVID NUFFER JUDGE

         Having reviewed the habeas-corpus petition here, 28 U.S.C.S. § 2254 (2019), the Court concludes that it must be amended to cure the below deficiencies if Petitioner wishes to further pursue his claims.

         DEFICIENCIES IN PETITION

         Petition:

         (a) has possibly been supplemented by other potential claims in other documents filed in this case by Petitioner. (Doc. Nos. 5, 10, 11, 14, 15 & 17.)

         (b) does not appear to observe the federal habeas-corpus standard of review, which states:

(d) An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim--
(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States; or
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding.

28 U.S.C.S. § 2254(d) (2019).

         (c) has claims appearing to be based on the illegality of Petitioner's current confinement; however, the petition was apparently not submitted using the legal help Petitioner is entitled to by his institution under the Constitution--e.g., by contract attorneys. See Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 356 (1996) (requiring prisoners be given "'adequate law libraries or adequate assistance from persons trained in the law' . . . to ensure that inmates . . . have a reasonably adequate opportunity to file nonfrivolous legal claims challenging their convictions or conditions of confinement") (quoting Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 828 (1977) (emphasis added)).

         INSTRUCTIONS TO PETITIONER

         Under Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure an initial pleading is required to contain "(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction depends, . . . (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and (3) a demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). The requirements of Rule 8(a) are intended to guarantee "that [respondents] enjoy fair notice of what the claims against them are and the grounds upon which they rest." TV Commc'ns Network, Inc. v. ESPN, Inc., 767 F.Supp. 1062, 1069 (D. Colo. 1991), aff'd, 964 F.2d 1022 (10th Cir. 1992).

         Pro se litigants are not excused from complying with Rule 8's minimal pleading requirements. "This is so because a pro se [litigant] requires no special legal training to recount the facts surrounding his alleged injury, and he must provide such facts if the court is to determine whether he makes out a claim on which relief can be granted." Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1009 (10th Cir. 1991). Moreover, "it is not the proper function of the Court to assume the role of advocate for a pro se litigant." Id. at 1110. Thus, the Court may not "supply additional facts, [or] construct a ...


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